Dusty Johnson left few stones unturned in the race for Congress last night, as he took all but 4 counties. Shantel Krebs was able to compete in Harding County and Bennett County, and Neal Tapio took Oglala Lakota and Tripp Counties – but everywhere else was Dusty Johnson country.
In Brown County, Johnson won by about 250 votes..
In Pennington he dominated by about 1500 votes…
and in Minnehaha, he came roaring out of the state’s largest county with over 2500 votes at his disposal.
These results were largely mirrored across the state, and were testament to the Johnson organizations superior organizational effort. Not that his opponents had an organizational effort, as Johnson was the only campaign with a noticeable ground game in the Congressional contest.
Coming against a statewide official with plenty of exposure in Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, this race had the potential to have been closer. It should have been tighter.
Krebs was able to ably raise money, which is a pretty big priority in a statewide race. She had good media, and had hired some of the best consultants money could buy. But there were signs from day one that the Krebs campaign was going to be on rocky ground. There were hints last year when some of her parade assistance was a little sparse, but by January, the warning bells were blaring.
In January this year her PIO Jason Williams, who would have managed her grassroots efforts, abandoned ship in the Secretary of State’s office, that was an early sign of trouble. The next one was hiring professional signature gatherers right out of the gate. And there never really seemed to be anyone in charge of ‘Team Krebs.’
That lack of organizational skill in comparison to the enthusiastic throngs of workers the Dusty Johnson seemed to constantly have at his disposal was a key difference. The Krebs campaign had this Frankenstein-like amalgamation of parts of a campaign. But it lacked a heart, and a brain. You could spend a lot of money to keep this beast alive, but is was never going to go far in a race.
Stay tuned for more results and analysis!